Assessing Other Educators’ Attitudes Toward Students’ Families
EDU647: Families, Communities & Diversity
It is imperative for teachers and parents to work in collaboration to ensure that students are reaching their full potential and succeed academically. Encouraging parents to be involved in their child’s education is beneficial to help the student move forward and do their best. Provide the parent’s with the opportunity to get involved because it is often difficult when you do not have their participation or involvement in their child’s education. For the scenario, I chose teacher two. This teacher feels that it is a waste of time to bother with parents because they do not care and do not to show up for functions or meetings. They do not change and could care less about the suggestions made to help their child. For this paper we will discuss parents’ expectations from the teacher and administrator helping teachers understand importance of family teacher partnership.
Parents want what is best for their children. It can be overwhelming when your child starts school. You and the child go through a period of separation anxiety. There are several expectations, we as parents have for our children’s’ teachers. One expectation is that the teacher acknowledges us as parents. We know our child best. We know their strengths, weaknesses, likes, and dislikes. We want to be treated with respect and ensure that the teacher is working with us in collaboration to educate our children. According to Amatea (2013), “The educational world is revolutionized by the paradigm of collaboration. With the shift in thinking, teachers now embrace the idea of seeing students and their families as collaborators or partners in the effort to education children.” (Chapter 2.2, para. 3). Teachers now see that parents have the expertise to assist in helping the student learn better or they can help resolve any conflicts.
The second expectation is to communicate with the parent regarding how well their child is doing or if they are struggling with a certain concept. Effective communication is imperative to improve the student’s education. As a parent it is crucial that we know what is going on with our children. We need to know if there is a problem that needs to be addressed. It is not right for the teacher to automatically think just because parents are busy with work that we do not care about our children. This teacher automatically thought that they should not have to waste time dealing with parents that are busy and do not take the time to attend meetings and school functions because these types of parents show no interest in their child’s education. Wrong, there are other ways that teachers can now reach out to parents that have busy schedules. “Effective communication can be time-consuming, but it is crucial. There are many ways to communicate such as notes, newsletters, daily folders, phone calls, emails, visitations, open room nights, class web pages, postcards, and parent-teacher conferences are some of the most popular means in which to communicate. An effective teacher will likely use several means over the course of the year” (Meador, 2019, para. 10).
The third expectation as a parent is to ensure that the teacher is providing my child with an equal education and that my child is treated fairly with respect. Teachers should help all students regardless of their opinions about their parents. If my child is struggling in school, the parent has the right to know. If the teacher does not feel the need to let me know because I am a busy parent trying to provide for my family, then that is denying my child the right to an equal education. Teacher two felt that there was not a need to bother with parents because they do not seem to care. “Families are empowered to be advocates for their own and other children, to ensure that students are treated fairly and have access to learning opportunities that will support their success” (National Standards for Family-School Partnerships, n.d.).
As the principal or administrator, it is our job to oversee all school personnel and to ensure that everything runs smoothly. When you have a teacher that has the attitude like teacher two in the scenario, you want to find ways to show them the importance of family-school partnerships. We want to show her that it is beneficial to have a relationship with the parents of the students. The first suggestion is that when teachers and the school works with parents it increases the chances that students will enhance their education. “Research shows that school-family-community partnerships help to improve academic outcomes – at both the elementary and secondary level – when schools, parents, families, and communities work together, students: earn higher grades; attend school more regularly; stay in school; and, are more motivated (National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments, 2019).
The second suggestion to encourage teacher two to make a positive change is to communicate with parents from the beginning of the year. Keep the parents informed so they know what is going on with their children. Mariconda (2019) suggests there are five rules for effective communication between teachers and parents: “begin the year by explaining how and when you will keep in touch with them, never feel pressured about making an important decision, evaluation, or assessment during a parent conference or conversation, let parents know they can trust you, assure parents that you will inform them immediately about any concerns you might have with regard to their child, and when presenting a concern to parents, ALWAYS be ready to explain what strategies you’ve already used to address the issue and what new strategies you are considering”.
The third suggestion for teacher two is to create a welcoming school family. “Families are active participants in the life of the school, and feel welcomed, valued, and connected to each other, to school staff, and to what students are learning and doing in class” (PTA, 2009, pg. 10, para. 1). Create a warm classroom environment so when parents walk in they feel like they are a part of the family and they want their child to be there. Greet parents when they walk into the building. When parents feel welcomed they are more likely to become active participants in the classroom.
Provide teachers with a list of resources for teachers to read that will show them the importance of family-school partnerships. 1. https://www.pta.org/home/run-your-pta/National-Standards-for-Family-School-Partnerships. 2. https://www.readingrockets.org/article/building-parent-teacher-relationships. 3. https://www.pbs.org/parents/thrive/the-parent-teacher-partnership. These three resources will inform the teacher about the importance of parent-teacher relationships.
There are additional ways to help deepen the teachers understanding of the importance of family-school partnerships. “Research shows that parents and teachers build partnerships that help children succeed when they: 1) Engage in meaningful dialogue, 2) Show mutual respect, 3) Actively listen, 4) Collaborate, 5) Empathize, 6) Open themselves to learning, and 7) Involve the student” (Mitchell, 2011, para. 11).
In conclusion, working in collaboration with parents is beneficial to help the student academically succeed. Effectively communicating with one another also helps to keep parents informed of what is going on with their children. Making sure to include the family is important, instead of assuming they do not care. Our job is to make sure that the students are reaching their full potential and that is made possible having a family-school partnership.
Amatea, E. S. (2013). Building culturally responsive family-school relationships (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
Family-School-Community Partnerships. (2019). In National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments. Retrieved from https://safesupportivelearning.ed.gov/training-technical-assistance/education-level/early-learning/family-school-community-partnerships.
Mariconda, B. (2019). Five Keys to Successful Parent-Teacher Communication. In Scholastic.com. Retrieved from https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/articles/teaching-content/five-keys-successful-parent-teacher-communication/.
Meador, D. (2019). Cultivating Highly Successful Parent Teacher Communication Search. In ThoughtCo. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/tips-for-highly-successful-parent-teacher-communication-3194676.
Mitchell, M. P. (2011). Family-School Partnerships for the 21st Century. In Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-moment-youth/201108/family-school-partnerships-the-21st-century.
National Standards for Family-School Partnerships. (n.d.). In National PTA. Retrieved from https://www.pta.org/docs/default-source/files/programs/national-standards-for-family-school-partnerships/assessment_guide_standard_4.pdf.
PTA National Standards for Family-School Partnerships: An Implementation Guide. (2009). In PTA Family-School Partnerships. Retrieved from https://s3.amazonaws.com/rdcms-pta/files/production/public/National_Standards_Implementation_Guide_2009.pdf.